Three-year cruise canceled weeks before shoving off, after one woman sold her apartment to join unique voyage


A three-year world cruise has been canceled less than two weeks before it was scheduled to set sail.

Life at Sea Cruises’ first three-year sailing was announced in March and promised passengers willing to fork out at least $29,999 per year — a one-of-a-kind voyage organized by parent company, Turkey-based Miray Cruises, that would cover 130,000 miles, 375 ports, and 135 countries.

One woman, Kimberly Arizzi, sold her apartment, furniture, clothes, and TV to pay for her retirement cruise, Business Insider reported.

Passengers for the three-year voyage were informed Nov. 17 that the cruise was canceled. It was set to leave from Amsterdam on Nov. 30, according to CNN.


While the cruise is canceled, some passengers are still in Istanbul, where the ship was set to originally leave Nov. 1 before the departure location was changed to Amsterdam.

The company said it would issue refunds, but in monthly installments beginning in mid-December and lasting until late February. 

Life at Sea Cruises offered to pay for flights and accommodations until Dec. 1 for those who are in Istanbul.

Some passengers said they didn’t have a home to return to, since they were expecting to be on the cruise for three years.

“There’s a whole lot of people right now with nowhere to go, and some need their refund to even plan a place to go – it’s not good right now,” one passenger told CNN.

Female cruise passenger overlooks balcony


The company intended to buy the AIDAaura ship, which was retired by AIDA Cruises, part of Carnival Corp. over the summer. However, the sale took longer than anticipated, and a different company, Celestyal Cruises, bought the ship.

On Nov. 16, Life at Sea Cruises’ former CEO Kendra Holmes, who said she wasn’t speaking on behalf of Miray Cruises, sent passengers a recorded 15-minute video explaining the journey was canceled.

About two days after Holmes sent the video, Miray Cruises owner Vedat Ugurlu admitted that the company couldn’t afford the ship.

Cruise ship

“Miray is not such a big company to afford to pay 40-50 million [dollars] for a ship,” he said, adding that while the company made a down payment, investors “declined to support us further due to unrest in the Middle East.”

Passengers were disappointed by the decision and lack of notice from the cruise line.

“I’m very sad, angry and lost,” one person said. “I had the next three years of my life planned to live an extraordinary life, and now [I have] nothing. I’m having a hard time moving forward.

“I was proud and feeling brave, now I don’t trust anyone or anything. I know it’ll work out and life will go on, but I’m uncertain of the direction,” said another. 

“I never imagined I’d be in this position as a senior citizen.”

Miray Cruises did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

Read the full article here


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